New technique spins superlong nanowires

Fibers are millionths of a millimeter across and kilometers long

By Rachel Ehrenberg, 15:00 PM June 13, 2011

In a feat that puts Rumpelstiltskin to shame, scientists have spun a multitude of high tech materials into bundles of superfine nanowires that are more than 1000 meters long. The new technique, reported online June 12 in Nature Materials, easily produces uniform, orderly arrays of gossamer-thin materials that could have broad use in sensors, energy-harvesting devices and medical diagnostics.

It’s not often that the prefixes nano and kilo, which span 12 orders of magnitude, come together, s...

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